In the past month I have grown a small obsession with everything Hawaiian. I think it started with reading the article in the newest Lucky Peach (Issue 7: Travel – Spring 2013) “Things Were Eaten Part Three: Hawai’i” which follows Ray Choi and Christina Tosi as they eat their way around Hawaii. The idea to make Hawaiian inspired food and have a Tiki Hawaiian Luau themed party have been floating around my head for a while but the Lucky Peach article I think was the catalyst for actually making something. For now I just made sandwiches I think it would be really fun to have a Tiki Luau party this summer with all sorts of Hawaiian inspired food and Hawaiian Bark Cloth clothing… We will see if that actually transpires but until then tasty food is good.
After pursuing the internet for some cooking inspiration I decided that I wanted to make Hawaiian inspired pulled pork sandwiches. Since a large portion of the Hawaiian population is of some sort of Asian decent I decided to go with a bunch of Asian flavorings for the pulled pork. When you look at the below ingredient list for the pulled pork you will see that there is a lot of ingredients that may not be common to an American refrigerator but everything I happened to use were things I had on hand. Feel free to substitute as desired but I think the particular mix of sauces and Miso that I used create a nice body of flavor and pretty much everything should be available at your local Asian food store or a specialty market. For the sandwich rolls I wanted to go with a sweeter Hawaiian roll that uses Pineapple juice as one of the ingredients which makes for a good balance to the salty savoryness of the pulled pork.
HAWAIIAN PULLED PORK SANDWICHES
Makes 10 Sandwiches
1 Recipe Asian Pulled Pork (See Below)
1 Recipe Hawaiian Sandwich Rolls ( See Below)
1 Avocado Sliced (Optional)
Homemade Mayonnaise or Aioli… or store bought if you want but homemade is so easy and tasty
We are just making a sandwich nothing special here… Cut your just baked bun in half and put your Mayonnaise on both the top and bottom bun. If you wish put a few slices of Avocado on the bottom roll (I highly suggest this it adds a great depth of flavor and richness to the sandwich) put the pulled pork on top and sandwich with the top roll and serve!
ASIAN PULLED PORK
3 lb Pork Shoulder
1 Tsp Whole White Peppercorns
1/4 Tsp Whole Szechuan Peppercorns
1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Shiro Miso
1 Tbsp Red Miso
2 Tbsp Sake (optional)
1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sriracha
2 Tsp Sambal Chili Paste
Dark Soy Sauce – To Taste
Dutch Oven or Cast Iron Pan
Medium Sauce Pan
Ideally you should purchase your Pork Shoulder at least a day in advanced of when you plan on cooking it. When you get it home salt it liberally then wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. By salting in advance you make sure that the meat is well seasoned and it helps break down the tough muscle tissue a bit which will make a more succulent pulled pork.
On the day you are going to make your pulled pork take out your Pork Shoulder and let it sit out for an hour or two to come to room temperature. This helps the meat cook more evenly.
While your meat is coming to temperature grind up your White Peppercorns and Szechuan Peppercorns. You can just use regular pepper but if you have access to white pepper and Szechuan peppercorns they add a nice depth of flavor to the finished meat.
Preheat your oven to 200F.
Once meat is to temperature disperse your spice mixture evenly to both sides of your Pork Shoulder and place the shoulder into your dutch oven or cast iron pan. Cover with the Lid or Foil and place in the oven
Cook at 200F for 6-8 hours until cooked through and you are able to pull it apart with a fork.
When the Pork is cooked through and tender take the meat out of the pan and let rest covered on a cutting board for about 30 min to an hour.
While the meat is resting make the sauce for the pork
In the medium sauce pan add all of the remaining ingredients except for the Dark soy Sauce (Worcestershire Sauce, Fish Sauce, Shiro Miso, Red Miso, Sake, Rice Vinegar, Sriracha, Sambal Chili Paste) and heat on low.
Mix until the Miso Paste is dissolved and the mixture is warm, then turn off the heat.
Now that your Meat has rested pull it into shreds using two forks. One to hold the meat and one to shred with.
Take all the shredded meat and mix it into the sauce you just created, making sure to incorporate all the sauce into the meat. Finish with a bit of Dark Soy Sauce to your taste and to supplement the moisture of the meat mixture.
Serve as desired.
I used the Hawaiian Sweet Roll Recipe from i heart eating for my Hawaiian Rolls with a few adjustments. Mine did come out a bit dense and I think there are 2 factors for that one is I halved the amount of Yeast used because 2 packets seemed excessive and I did not wait for the Pineapple juice to come to room temp so the yeast did not bloom properly. I would suggest to follow the recipe as is but reduce the sugar to 5 Tbsp total so they are not so cloyingly sweet. I want to work on perfecting my version so for now follow i heart eating’s recipe and just form them into 10 Sandwich rolls instead of 20 dinner rolls.